Awnings provide shade and refuge from the sun and elements. Awnings come in permanent and retractable styles. A retractable awing, with a manual retractable arm, can be placed over your patio to allow you to have control over your sun exposure; while permanent awnings, fixed over the windows to your home, will keep the inside cool and shaded. Awnings are typically made of Polyethylene, a type of water-resistant material that is also fade-resistant and provides adequate UV protection. A retractable 10- by 12-foot awning costs approximately $700 online, however prices vary considerably between manufacturers, so shop around.